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How to Make a Cover Hem with a Serger

Thursday, 19 April 2018 1:00

A cover hem is a professional-style "serged" hem that traditionally has two to three lines of parallel stitching on the right side and a looper stitch which covers the raw edge of the fabric on the back side. It's the type of hem commonly found on most ready-to-wear knit garments (and many woven RTW items as well) as it has plenty of stretch and so will not distort the hem. It's also very fast and clean! We have a short lesson showing how easy it is to make a cover hem as well as our thoughts as to why a specialty cover hem machine may just be the coolest machine to add to your sewing space.

Decorative Stitch Webbing: Instant Embellishment for Bag Straps, Belts & More

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 1:00

We like webbing… not necessarily like the monster from the black lagoon’s hands, but the cool cotton kind for bags and such. However, it can be hard to find in other than the most basic colors of white, natural, navy, and black. Bust out your decorative stitches and some colorful thread! This fast and easy embellishment can inject a little WOW into your webbing. 

How to Create Shirring for Sewing Projects

Friday, 06 April 2018 1:00

In between the simplicity of gathering and the intricacy of hand-smocking, lives one of our favorite texturing techniques: elastic shirring. You've probably owned a garment or two with shirring on the bodice or sleeve edge. It was the style on those iconic 1970s peasant dresses, and it remains popular in new fashion trends. Shirring is a great sewing technique to learn, and easy-peasy to create! Plus, just like the little boy with a hammer, for whom everything becomes a nail... once you learn how to do shirring, we guarantee there will be all kinds of projects that need this pretty, rumply, stretchy touch of texture.

How to Install Metal Rivets on Sewing Projects

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 1:00

Rivets are everywhere. Airliners have rivets. The pockets of your Levis® have rivets. Frogs make the sound, "rrriiiiiivvvet." That last example probably isn't applicable, but it kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it? Not only are rivets ubiquitous, they look super professional when used on a sewing project. Rivets also have a very logical purpose: they hold lots of thick layers together at points where it would be impossible to stitch with a sewing machine.

How to Insert a Full Circle Zipper

Thursday, 22 February 2018 1:00

We get a lot of questions about zippers. They seem to live at the top of many people's lists of Sewing Phobias (ziphobia!). In an effort to calm these fears, we already have three step-by-step tutorials for inserting standard zippers, tackling invisible zippers, and putting in an inset zipper. We're adding to the zipper toolbox with the following zip tips about how to put a conventional zipper into a circular opening.

How To Box Corners: Two Methods with Formulas

Thursday, 18 January 2018 1:00

Okay - true confession time. In school, I was a theater rat... always in plays and musicals, always taking artsy-fartsy classes, including "How To Mime" or, as I remember it, "How To Pretend You're Stuck In A Box And Look Foolish Doing It." Unless you're Marcel Marceau, you look really silly doing mime. So... no mime today. But, we are still making a box. In particular, a boxed corner. This is a sewing technique everyone should have in her/his arsenal. The boxed corner creates space in something that would otherwise be flat. For example, in a bag, you'll have a lot more room to stash your stuff if you create boxed corners. Basically, any sewn corner can be turned into a boxed corner with a few simple steps. We show you the two most common methods.

Tips for Sewing with Faux Leather

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 1:00

Left: Faux Leather Shopper, Right: Trendy Faux Leather Handbag

Back in the 1970s, I wanted my mom to buy me a real leather jacket. Unfortunately, she was only prepared to spend for one made of synthetic leather. As much as I wanted to believe it looked genuine, it just looked fake. Today's fake – excuse me, faux leather looks so much more like the real thing. And, not only is faux leather less expensive than genuine leather, it's also easier to sew with. Read on for a few of our favorite tricks and tools.

The Fastest Way to Finish Curtains: Drapery Tapes from Dritz

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 1:00

Window coverings are often one of the first DIY home décor projects people attempt. And rightly so; they’re usually simple panels with just a few hems – fast, easy, and so much more affordable than off-the-shelf options. However, figuring out how best to hang those pretty panels can be more of a challenge. Dritz® Home products to the rescue! They offer three drapery tape options that solve the most common hanging alternatives: Rod Loop Tape, Clip Ring Tape, and Iron-On Shirring Tape. We made a mini sample to test each product and were very happy with how quickly everything went together. Read on to find out more. And you know that blank window you’ve been staring at for months? It could have its very own curtain in no time at all. 

Basic Shapes #3 Cheat Card: Common Angles

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 1:00

A circle has 360˚ – we all learned that in school, but we didn’t always learn how to use those 30 dozen degrees to create the angles that make up some of our favorite shapes. Our latest Sew4Home Cheat Card is the third installment in our Basics Shapes trio. It focuses on the most common angles used in sewing and how, with just a trusty protractor and some basic math, you can create your own custom paper piecing shapes, five and six pointed star appliqués, triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, octagons, and more. 

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Hand Sewing Basics: Tools & Techniques

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 1:00

Most sewing projects require at least a small amount of hand sewing. If you've left an opening in a seam to turn an item right side out, you may need to hand stitch the opening closed. Hems are often hand stitched. Or, you might need to hand stitch a facing in place. Whatever the task, a bit of hand stitching comes in... well, "handy." We've outlined the tools needed along with seven of the most common stitches. Simple drawings and steps show how to do each one. 

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